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Discussion Forum : General Topics : AOG official statement on Lakeland

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 Re:

I think the statement, if you can call it that, was scriptural, but failed to address the Lakeland Revival. I think in that perspective it was weak and spineless.

Krispy

 2008/6/8 10:34
hmmhmm
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Joined: 2006/1/31
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Sweden

 Re: AOG official statement on Lakeland

People that are silent, especially someone that can be a "leader" or a Shepard or teacher, or a large magazine or tv station that are "silent" are to me a very worrying thing.

Isa 62:6 I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence,


It is often so that the people who keep silent are the ones causing division by their silence.



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CHRISTIAN

 2008/6/8 12:08Profile
ChrisJD
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Joined: 2006/2/11
Posts: 2895
Philadelphia PA

 Re:

Dear Christian,


"...And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth."



[i]And give him no rest[/i]



Isn't this talking about praying to God? Rather than talking to each other for weeks and months on end?


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Christopher Joel Dandrow

 2008/6/8 15:17Profile
hmmhmm
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Joined: 2006/1/31
Posts: 4991
Sweden

 Re:

Quote:

ChrisJD wrote:

Isn't this talking about praying to God? Rather than talking to each other for weeks and months on end?



Probably you are right brother,

but still i think a Shepard should warn his flock from danger, not circle around it and hope his flock wont go there.


Pro 27:23 Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds.


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CHRISTIAN

 2008/6/8 16:45Profile
ccchhhrrriiisss
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Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4476


 Re:

Hello all…

I think that it is error to judge the statement as being anything more or less than what it contained. It wasn’t specific in mentioning Lakeland – because the problem in NOT confined to Lakeland. This issue is a problem in Florida, Texas, California, Kenya and India -- and everywhere that there is a misconception about "revival." Once this situation goes the way of Pensacola (whether this year or within the next few years), there will be some other Church in some other town which will do its best to become the “next great outpouring.”

The problem, in my opinion, is a misunderstanding of the nature of revival. The problem with the modern Church – especially the Pentecostal/Charismatic brethren – is that they have a presupposed idea of what revival is supposed to look like. They truly believe that a revival is a meeting where they see supposedly “supernatural” occurrences, people sing happy, fast-paced songs, the adults and youth become excited and involved in Church activities, and the building is filled for each meeting. Of course, SIers realize that this is not revival at all. Anyone who has read [i]Why Revival Tarries[/i] or [i]Hungry for More of Jesus[/i] realizes that revival is an awakening of an individual’s heart and mind to the things of God. It is not a gimmick, a promotion, an incident, or a boast. It is a realization. It is when men, women and children (both individually and then collectively) wake up to realize the futility of their ways and will call upon the Name of the Lord in truth just so they can know and please Him.

Many pastors want a revival that will result in a full congregation of pews. Evangelists often want a revival that will have the most “public decisions” (where people are “led” in the “Sinner’s Prayer” – as if that act alone could actually save their sinful souls). Individuals often want a “revival” that will fill them full of “happiness, purpose and joy.” But none of this is revival. The modern Church is flocking to “revivals” in which each individual within the congregation remains asleep. Rather than waking up and being revitalized by the knowledge of God – these congregants are content to stay asleep and smile in their dreams.

Have you ever watched any one of the “crusades” by Benny Hinn in India? Over 100,000 people showed up – all in embrace of the theatrics. I’ve seen some footage of men preaching in Africa where nearly a million people showed up to observe a display of “miracles.” While the “miracles” that were reported to have taken place are sketchy at best – it is extremely indicative of the hunger of people for such things. Jesus illustrated the futility of the heart when some would follow Him to see the miracles that He would perform. Yet when Jesus – the epicenter or true revival – preached, people left in a hurry! When He told the flock to “eat His flesh and drink His blood,” his “congregation” dwindled down to just twelve men – and one was a devil (John chapter 6).

I’ve always found it interesting that Christians in America will flock to meetings where the Lord supposedly shows up to perform the miraculous. Whether in Lakeland, Pensacola, Toronto, Kansas City, etc…, these famous gatherings demonstrate the willingness of people who name the Name of Jesus to flock toward any hypothetical display of the “supernatural.” I’ve found it ironic that the same type of people seldom show up to a meeting where a man can simply preach the truths found in the Word of God.

When I truly met the Lord when I was a teen, many of my fellow Church-going friends thought that it was weird that I was so attracted to preachers rather than Christian concerts. They thought it was weird that I preferred a prayer meeting over a Christian festival. They thought it was weird that I preferred [i]Why Revival Tarries[/i] to the chaff that is found on the bookshelves at most Christian Bookstores. Yet I always thought that it was cool to meet people of similar interest. There was only a handful at the Church where I grew up. However, I found others during mission trips, visits to other congregations, trips to Churches near my grandmother’s house, etc… It made me realize that I wasn’t alone in my hunger for more of Christ. I also realized that most of those believers also felt ostracized in their congregations because of their convictions. They too were called “judgmental” when they quietly wept at “revival meetings” that more closely resembled pep rallies, paltry displays of the “supernatural” and cheerleading classes rather than spiritual wake up calls.

I will say that I agree with the words of the Superintendent of the Assemblies of God. I no longer attend an A/G congregation. There are a few areas within the Assemblies of God with which I disagree with them on doctrinal issues (or feel enough uncertainly about mandating such doctrines). However, the fellowship, as a whole, has been pretty sound (in my opinion). They do, to their shame, allow too much “local discretion” for pastors and local congregations. I suppose that they do this so that they do not have to maintain a rather imposing measuring stick for each and every wind of doctrine that floats around. It is a whole lot easier to embrace the affirmative than to point at each and every thing that is negative.

It would take too much time to point out every errant idea, revival or philosophy. They would begin to look like a well-meaning [i]Gestapo[/i] by keeping a public “black list” that contained the names of allegedly questionable doctrines or supposedly errant preachers, congregations or “revivals.” Such a thing would require full time “investigators” upon which we would need to rely upon their testimony. And because men are fallible and inclined toward their own fallible knowledge and levels of maturity, there is a danger of these investigators being wrong or claiming that something is “not of God” when it actually is.

This statement seems to attempt to better define “revival” than to lambast each and every specific event, idea and doctrine that is false. It is better to hold up the original model for revival than to extrapolate upon every other example that may or may line up with the Truth. I think that this is what the author attempted to do. He is holding up a description of true revival instead of mentioning specific examples of what is false. Because of this, I appreciate his words. In regard to Lakeland, I had never heard of it until I read about it here at SermonIndex. It didn’t take too long for me to realize the reported flaws in those meetings; for I am now better aware of what it is that God wants from each of us.

That being said, the Assemblies of God can also be quite strict during “official” collective meetings. For instance, I attended an Assembly of God youth camp in which all of our counselors were strictly forbidden to publicly state that they believe in “holy laughter.” They were strict in terms of what a preacher could preach and to prevent some of the more Charismatic antics seen at the close of many Pentecostal services (the expectation of people “falling under the power of God,” perpetually “demon-possessed” teenagers [it seems like some Pentecostal Churches have at least one or two who never seem to get fully delivered], “holy laughter,” “dancing in the Spirit,” etc…). I remember standing in the back of the camp’s “tabernacle” when a guy in front of me started screaming while jumping up and down (with his eyes closed – dancing?). A couple of counselors came and took him to the back and talked with him. I appreciated their attempt to prevent “wildfire” – but I wondered whether they had gone too far. What if someone was just really excited? What if someone started to cry out to God for forgiveness? Would they have been pulled aside too? Anyway, it just shows that the A/G can, at times, be quite specific in regard to meetings. But I don’t know that I would want the A/G (or anyone else) telling me just what I can or cannot believe.

However, I think that this was the intent of the statement on Revival. Whereas Krispy found the statement to be “weak and spineless,” I think that the author spoke rather directly about the big picture. The root of this problem is not Lakeland – or even the specific doctrinal flaws of that particular meeting. It isn’t about any other specific meetings or behavior. In my opinion, it is an attempt by the Superintendent of that particular “fellowship” (the A/G tends to shy away from the word “denomination”) to hold a guiding line by better defining [i]what revival is[/i] rather than specific local examples of [i]what revival is [u]not[/u][/i].

I think that the author described the root quite well. If we can comprehend this, then there would be less of a likelihood of embracing (or entertaining) error.

:-)


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Christopher

 2008/6/8 22:50Profile









 Re: AG "statement"




Out of the sweeping fires of Azusa, came a national move of Pentecost that was summarily recognized as [b]Apostolic[/b]. The early brothers recognized a need for direction, and a maintenance of holiness in doctrine and spirit, in order that this young child not be devoured by the Evil one.


You can read, and see some of the photo's here at SI, when they convened in the early "Camp meetings", to work out the hows and whys , in order to take the commission to "Go and make disciples", in a pure way. It must have been very exciting for the multitudes of young people, to actually take the book of acts embodied in their own faith across the country, and then the world.

Most of us here have been influenced by this move right here. It may not have maintained it's coherency as a move, if this support system wasn't established, there by, "The assembly of God." There were others, also, but they had the Apostolic mindset of unity held in place by the enforcement of discipline in a pure biblical manner, along with the support of Godly and holy leaders. They saw the purity of the Apostles as a mandate for true success and ran with it.

There were 25,000 full time evangelists at work in America at one time, at it's height, all under the guidelines and directives of this counsel, and thousands of Churches sprang up. It spread around the World, with many, many new wineskins springing up everywhere. This may have been the most significant move of God in a few hundred years, in measure of impact.


How in the world can you oversee your churches without being specific? It's like forgetting your children's names, and expecting them to work to accomplish the chores they need to do, to keep the house in order, with your ideas you thought out yesterday, without telling them!..or worse being afraid to, in that they may be offended.


There have been hundreds of "De-frocked" AG Pastors throughout the years, and credentials withdrawn. These were all specific. Why not here? I remember Jimmy Swaggart, and it seemed that they handled his sin in a biblical manner, in the face of a great storm from the national media. Jimmy's face was everywhere.

Times have changed. I am sorry, but God has moved on, and out of this organization. They are not reprobate, as the United Methodists are,[the previous great and holy move], but I think this compromise, this general whisper of "Be nice now, "cause this may be bad" , spoken as it were to the wind, is an indicator that they are heading that way.


I think of Eli, who refused to discipline his most wicked and vile son's, as they ministered at the Alter. Things went well for a while, but he ended up with a broken neck and a grandson named Ichabod.

I don't rejoice in this. God hasn't failed, no not an iota, nor is He distressed over this Satanic activity in Lakeland. He does have His eyes open though, watching to see if their are any who mourn and weep over the destruction done, and the heart to warn and protect.

[b]Read Ezekiel 34 again.[/b] He has found true Shepherds somewhere, and I'm afraid, they have all left Springfield.

 2008/6/9 2:30
ccchhhrrriiisss
Member



Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4476


 Re:

Hi BrotherTom...

Quote:
There have been hundreds of "De-frocked" AG Pastors throughout the years, and credentials withdrawn. These were all specific. Why not here? I remember Jimmy Swaggart, and it seemed that they handled his sin in a biblical manner, in the face of a great storm from the national media. Jimmy's face was everywhere.

Times have changed. I am sorry, but God has moved on, and out of this organization. They are not reprobate, as the United Methodists are,[the previous great and holy move], but I think this compromise, this general whisper of "Be nice now, "cause this may be bad" , spoken as it were to the wind, is an indicator that they are heading that way.


...or perhaps the leaders of the Assemblies of God just don't know what to make of it all?

After reading the statement, I don’t discern that the author and Superintendent was taking a “[i]Be nice now, ‘cause this may be bad’[/i]” type of approach. Rather, it seems that he would prefer to make the distinction between a true move of God and those that are invented by the efforts of man (or worse). It seems that this statement was simply meant to draw a picture of what revival is – so that we can be able to spot a fake if and when the time necessitates. While walking through the “wilderness of this world” (as Bunyan would say), do we really need a person to draw up a map that identifies each and every portentous destination? Wouldn’t it be better to simply receive pure instructions for our journey toward our holy destination (with a few warnings on the road as we go along)?

Regarding this entire "Lakeland" matter, I only know what I have read on this website (along with information obtained from a couple of the accompanying links). Of course, I wouldn't endorse what I read or what I saw. Why? It isn’t because of what my friends at SermonIndex have said. Rather, it is because I am maturing in my knowledge of the heart of God. It doesn’t resemble the type of revival that I feel that the Lord desires. That is grounds enough for me to “stay away.” However, I might run the risk of "baring false witness" if I were to say something specific regarding Lakeland that wasn't entirely based upon fact.

“To everything there is a season...” (Ecclesiastes 3:1). There is certainly a time to speak out AGAINST unrighteousness and perversions of the Gospel. However, there is still a need to “be slow to speak.” Just as Paul warned Timothy about being hasty in regards to the “laying on of hands,” so this letter might reflect the desire of the A/G Superintendent about being a bit hasty in pronouncing judgment in this matter. He could have easily said that the entire matter is “from the Devil.” But could he say such things with utter certainty? Perhaps he simply feels that caution is the best course of action for the time being – until this matter is fully investigated?

If the leaders of the Assemblies of God have not attended the Lakeland meetings, what would be the best course of action for them? Would it be to publicly address those meetings in their entirety in a specific manner of judgment – or to urgently caution believers toward the Truth? From this article, it seems that the General Superintendent decided that the latter would be a more prudent immediate decision – at least until some investigation could be done regarding the truth of the matter.

Sometimes, I think that we are often “preaching to the choir.” Most of the believers who frequent this website are quite knowledgeable about revival (at least enough to recognize fraud when we see it). I wonder: How many of us are willing to go to the people involved in the Lakeland meetings and “explain the Word of the Lord more adequately” to them? I suppose that the Superintendent of the A/G, through this statement, might feel that this issue is much larger than Lakeland. There are Pentecostal believers who seem inclined to flock to “[i]the next new thing[/i].” Perhaps this statement was meant to help identify a real revival – so that the readers might use it as a primer that would help them decipher a supposed “revival” in the future?

For this reason, I appreciate the statement. It seems to me that such a statement is vitally important in today’s Church. After all, isn’t this what [i]Why Revival Tarries[/i] was trying to accomplish? It was meant to identify a real revival (and how it comes about), so that we would stop our pursuits of fickle, man-made revivals and the ongoing service in lifeless religion?


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Christopher

 2008/6/10 21:57Profile





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